One of the biggest issues as we grow older is the sense of isolation that you begin to feel. Once you retire, you no longer have direct contact with your co-workers every day and as friends and family also age, it becomes harder and harder to feel a sense of community.
That’s why one of the most interesting ideas currently on the real estate market is the senior cohousing community. This gives you an opportunity to stay connected with people while still maintaining your own independence.
In the past, senior citizens either stayed in their family home after the kids had left or else moved into assisted living or into homes with their own children or other family members. Staying in your own home can be costly and inefficient, especially paying utilities on a three or four-bedroom house that only has one or two people living there. But moving into assisted living or in with family members can put a strain on relationships because of the lack of independence. Senior cohousing can be an alternative to this.
With senior cohousing, the homebuyer purchases a smaller, independent home in a cohousing community. Although the home is self-contained, it is connected with other homes in the neighborhood by a common lawn and walkways. Additionally, many of these include a community house that is shared by all of the residents. Usually in such a situation, the community is left intentionally small, no more than 30 or 40 houses, and requires the residents to meet an age requirement, such as at least 55 or 60. In this way, it creates a small, bonded unit of residents who share general experiences and interests and who can live together in a communal setting without giving up their freedom and independence from owning their own home. Although there are currently only 13 such communities in the United States, interest in them is growing and more are being planned.
Senior cohousing represents another level of opportunity for senior citizens who are looking to find a new home. It is the best of two worlds, offering independent home living coupled with a community of friends that can offer support.